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EU looking into Windows 8 browser lockout

updated 08:48 pm EDT, Wed July 18, 2012

Antitrust investigation to see whether Windows 8 is unfair

Regulators in the European Union are looking into whether Microsoft's browser policy for the forthcoming Windows 8 constitutes a violation of antitrust rules to which Microsoft had previously agreed. As Ars Technica reports, the investigation is but one of two in which European regulators are taking Microsoft to task over the browser policies on its Windows platforms.

Microsoft previously agreed that it would offer European customers a choice of Internet browser in Windows 7. The European Commission claims that the browser ballot presenting those choices was not properly offered to users of Windows 7 Service Pack 1. The Commission is also looking into whether Microsoft allows third-party browser developers access to the same set of APIs that Internet Explorer can access.

With regard to Windows 8, the Commission is investigating claims that Microsoft will not allow third-party browsers on Windows RT. The Commission has not named which companies lodged those complaints against Microsoft, but it seems likely that at least one of the responsible parties is Mozilla, maker of the popular Firefox browser. Earlier this year, Mozilla called out Microsoft, alleging that the company's browser policy for Windows RT constituted a return to the dark ages of Internet browsing, before the software giant was originally required by regulators to open up its operating system.



By Electronista Staff
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